Organizing the Bog Snorkeling World Championships is a dirty job, but Gordon Green says he's happy to do it
The Welsh hamlet of Llanwrtyd Wells (population 700) hosts three of the least significant events in adventure sports: the Man versus Horse Marathon, the Bog Snorkeling World Championships and the Mountain Bike Bog Snorkeling World Championships. Next up is the marathon (Oct. 13), in which hundreds of two-legged runners test their stamina against mounted four-legged opponents on a 22-mile mountain circuit. SI corralled Gordon Green, 66, organizer of all three events, to gain a bit of insight.
SI: How long have the people of Wales been snorkeling in bogs?
Green: Not long. We started the competition 16 years ago. The plan was to introduce something wacky to the world, and I think we have.
SI: And how does one bog snorkel?
Green: Snorkelers don wet suits, masks and fins and swim two laps through a 60-yard peat bog.
SI: Do snorkelers and cyclists share the same bog?
Green: It's the same farm, but the snorkeling bog is about four feet across and four feet deep, while the cycling bog is six feet deep and some 40 feet wide. We dig trenches in the peat, and the bog fills itself with dirty, gooey liquid.
SI: What do the snorkelers see through their masks?
Green: They can't see anything! It's completely black! You're allowed to pop your head up for a quick look, but generally you're allowed no more than four pops.